What Do You Define as a Customer Complaint?

M

murban

#1
Does anyone have a list of what Customer Complaints would be? I know there could be, short shipments, over shipments, ship wrong parts, not on time, defective parts, shipped to wrong address, the list could go on and on. Are there certain categories that should always be used.

Thanks,

Mark
 
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JodiB

Still plugging along
#2
Mark,

I'm not experienced at this so my approach may be naive. Take it with a grain of salt...

I divided our customer satisfaction procedure into "feedback" and "complaints". I defined "complaints" as a customer statement that our products or services do not meet requirements and/or expectations. Feedback was defined as a comment regarding features, characteristics,etc. etc. and that only communication that does not require a response or resolution of a problem could be classified as customer feedback.

Then I set up categories for both of them. I used the categories you mentioned as well as "insufficient or inadequate operating manuals", "problems with communication and responsiveness", "incorrect invoicing" and some others. I tried to cover the range of our activities where the customer could reasonably be expected to lodge a complaint.

I think that the only category that you could say is always used is "Other" !:biglaugh:
 
#3
Categorizing Customer Complaints

Mark, excellent question, and welcome to the Cove! How you categorize customer complaints is up to you, but here is a common way I’ve seen. The categories are based on whether the complaint is knowledge or execution in nature. For example, if the customer wanted blue, but got red is the problem someone loaded the red paint by mistake, or did the paperwork say red, not blue? Did the customer change from red to blue, and the message not sent out? If we made the error, then we have to take certain steps, if it was by the customer (the never told us of the change), then we have to take different steps. Sometimes you cannot categorize the complaint until after the complaint is resolved. :eek:

Another common way is to use the points of the Cause and Effect Diagram (Ishikawa).

The key is to find the correct root cause(s), not just to place a complaint in a particular category. One recurring customer complaint by a client of mine is for late shipments. The 8-D always comes out the same. The shipment was late because it was on “credit hold”. Would that category be “customer caused”?

Dave B (the other Dave)
 

E Wall

Just Me!
Super Moderator
#4
Welcom Mark

Some indicators for Customer Satisfaction:
Market Share compared to your competitors;
New Customers and Retention of Customers tracked most often by asking for home phone # at register, or even just zip code [which is less invasive depending on your customer base].
Customer Feedback if/when you are lucky enough to get it directly.
Customer Dissatisfaction Many don't bother to complain, just take their business elsewhere. This can include: complaints, refunds, recalls, returns, repeat services, litigation, replacements, downgrades, repairs, warranty work/costs, miss-shipments, and imcomplete orders.

You will need to use more than one indicator to get a complete cross-section of your customers responses and experiences.
 

JodiB

Still plugging along
#5
Mark,
What Dave and Eileen (not Ellen) added are true. Eileen has given some good examples of measuring customer satisfaction (in addition to monitoring of complaints ).

The way we have it set up is that when the "complaint" is received, it is categorized the way you indicated. In other words, what did the customer complain about. This is what the categorization is used for.

Then all complaints (as I defined it for us earlier), automatically generate a CAR that requires us to look for the cause of the complaint, as Dave pointed out. In order for us to address the true problem and make sure it doesn't happen again, we need to know the root cause and then address it. Our complaint database is one route into our Corrective and Preventive Action process.

The initial categorization is for a quick eyeball look at where most complaints are being generated and will allow us to measure some degree of effectiveness in their elimination. Although we may eliminate the first root cause of (to use Dave's example) the customer getting red, if we get another complaint like this then there is another root cause at work and we need to address it too! Just because it was one thing the first time, doesn't mean that the same problem can't occur because of a different reason the next time.

The database that we will use to log the feedback and complaints will allow us to monitor the categories of problems so that we can spot trends.

Is that what you were looking for?

If you want more categories, here's a few for "feedback" : Availability of Product/Service, Price, Reliability or dependability of product/Service, Product Information,Product's functional performance and other design,Sales or order processing

Hope this helps.:)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
E

energy

#6
Ah, the Power!

Originally posted by Lucinda
Mark,
What Dave and Eileen (not Ellen) added are true. Eileen has given some good examples of measuring customer satisfaction (in addition to monitoring of complaints ).
Last edited by E Wall on 3rd January 2002 at 04:35 PM

Was it that important?:biglaugh: :smokin:
 

E Wall

Just Me!
Super Moderator
#7
Personally - Yes

It was to me :)

I like for folks to get my name right if they are going to use it. No offense taken by the error nor meant by making the correction.
 
E

energy

#8
Re: Personally - Yes

Originally posted by E Wall

I like for folks to get my name right if they are going to use it. No offense taken by the error nor meant by making the correction.
Oh, is that what is was?:bonk: I thought the new moderator was exercising the right to edit posts. It just that I've never seen this function in action before. I notice little things like that. Without a spellcheck function, there's a lot of mispelled words than can use some "editing".:biglaugh: Plus, I don't like the way that Aussie Bloke and Carl talk to me.:vfunny: :smokin:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#9
Spell check?

energy,

What i do because my speling is sooo bad, is i tipe my message in word and copi it. I didnt do it this time, because i'm at a differeent computr.

Dave B (the other Dave):vfunny: :bonk:
 
E

energy

#10
Hey, me too!

Originally posted by Lucinda
Mark,
I divided our customer satisfaction procedure into "feedback" and "complaints". I defined "complaints" as a customer statement that our products or services do not meet requirements and/or expectations. Feedback was defined as a comment regarding features, characteristics,etc. etc. and that only communication that does not require a response or resolution of a problem could be classified as customer feedback.
Lucinda, my procedure says exactly what yours says. Who could have imagined? We must think like Khanhoum.:ko: :smokin:
 
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